From the romantic alleys of the Eiffel Tower to the vibrant streets of the Taj Mahal, pure love unfurls its magic in the most surprising ways.
But, in my 10 years of counseling, I’ve seen that the language of love isn’t always rosy poetry.
It’s sometimes a cryptic crossword puzzle, especially when one’s partner sports the intriguing tag of an “avoidant lover.”
Ah, the elusive anxious attachment styles.
They’re like the fascinating mysteries of an Agatha Christie novel – bewildering at first glance, but deeply captivating once you start understanding their unique rhythm.
These fascinating individuals can come across as islands, standing alone in their vast ocean of self-reliance and independence.
They have built walls so high, it makes the Great Wall of China appear like a charming picket fence.
But let’s not mistake this fortress for apathy. There is a river of emotions flowing beneath, waiting to be discovered.
How to decipher the signs and navigate this riveting journey, you ask? Let’s dive in.
Who is a Love Avoidant?
A love avoidant is someone who has a fear of intimacy. They may be afraid of being hurt, or they may not feel worthy of love.
As a result, they may avoid getting close to others, or they may put up walls to protect themselves.
Love avoidants often have a difficult time expressing their feelings, and they may withdraw from their partners when they feel threatened.
They may also have a fear of commitment, and they may be hesitant to make long-term plans.
If you’re in a relationship with a love-avoidant, it’s important to be patient and understanding.
It may take time for them to open up to you, but with your love and support, they’ll eventually be able to overcome their fears.
15 Signs an Avoidant Loves You in Nature
Embarking on this journey of understanding an avoidant lover is akin to learning a new language.
It’s challenging, sometimes frustrating, but immensely rewarding when you start connecting the dots.
This list is your guide, your translator if you will, to the subtle and often misunderstood cues of an avoidant lover.
Each sign explains a bit more about their unique perspective of love and intimacy, and how they navigate relationships.
1. Fiercely Independent
This trait likely stems from early life experiences where they had to rely on themselves.
For instance, if as children they had caregivers who were emotionally unavailable or inconsistent, they might have learned that the only person they could truly rely on was themselves.
Case Study: Imagine John, who was often left to his own devices as a child. As an adult, he prefers to do things on his own, often insisting on single-handedly managing all household tasks or personal projects.
He views this as a way to maintain control and avoid the possibility of disappointment or letdown.
Advice: Acknowledge and praise John’s ability to take care of things independently, but also gradually introduce the concept of shared responsibilities.
Assure him that he can rely on you without any fear of being let down.
2. Have difficulty expressing emotions
People with avoidant attachment styles often have a history of their emotions being dismissed or criticized.
Over time, they learn to suppress their feelings as a protective mechanism.
Case Study: Consider Emily, who grew up in a family where emotions were considered a sign of weakness.
Now, in her romantic relationships, she finds it difficult to express how she feels. She may even dismiss her partner’s attempts to discuss emotions.
Advice: Create a safe space for Emily to express her feelings.
Encourage her to express herself by reassuring her that her emotions are valid and will not be dismissed or criticized.
3. Maintain strong boundaries
Strong boundaries can be a reaction to past experiences where their boundaries were not respected, causing them to feel violated or overwhelmed.
Case Study: Alex grew up with an overbearing parent who didn’t respect his privacy.
As an adult, he maintains strong boundaries, such as having separate social lives or not sharing personal items, to ensure his personal space is not encroached upon.
Advice: Respect Alex’s boundaries and appreciate his need for personal space.
Over time, communicate your own needs and work together to find a balance that respects both partners’ boundaries.
4. Avoid deep emotional connections
Deep emotional connections may have been associated with pain, disappointment, or instability in their past.
Case Study: Lisa had a tumultuous upbringing with emotional highs and lows.
As an adult, she avoids intense emotional connections to maintain emotional stability and prevent potential hurt.
Advice: Introduce deeper emotional connections slowly, showing Lisa that they can be a source of comfort and support rather than instability.
5. Value personal space greatly
Personal space likely served as a sanctuary during their formative years, where they could be themselves without judgment or pressure.
Case Study: Mark grew up in a crowded household, and his personal space was often invaded.
Now, he values his personal space greatly and needs time alone to recharge.
Advice: Respect Mark’s need for personal space and work towards a balance between shared space and individual space in your relationship.
6. Avoid commitment
Commitment might have been associated with loss of control or negative consequences in the past.
Case Study: Samantha witnessed her parents’ unhappy marriage as a child.
This experience has made her wary of commitments as she equates them with unhappiness.
Advice: Show Samantha that commitment and happiness can coexist by being consistently supportive and respectful.
7. Very slow to trust
Past experiences of broken trust could make them cautious about trusting others.
Case Study: Mike was frequently lied to by his childhood friends.
Now, he is slow to trust new people, including romantic partners.
Advice: Demonstrate consistent behavior and reassure Mike that he can trust you. Allow trust to build naturally over time.
8. Dislike displays of strong emotion
Strong emotional displays may have been associated with chaos or instability in their upbringing.
Case Study: Jennifer grew up in a household where strong emotions led to arguments.
As a result, she now feels uncomfortable around intense emotions and may pull back when her partner gets emotional.
Advice: Discuss emotions in a calm and composed manner with Jennifer.
Show her that strong emotions are natural and can be expressed in a controlled and constructive manner.
9. Pull away when things get too close
Drawing closer relationships might have led to painful outcomes in the past, such as abandonment or rejection.
Case Study: David had a past relationship where his partner left him when he started to open up.
Now, he pulls away when a relationship becomes too intimate to avoid potential hurt.
Advice: Give David space when he pulls away, and discuss the pattern once he’s comfortable.
Assure him that you’re there for him and that not all relationships lead to pain.
10. A knack for self-reliance
They may have had to fend for themselves from a young age, leading to an emphasis on self-reliance.
Case Study: Sophie was left to manage many things on her own as a child.
As an adult, she takes pride in her ability to handle all matters independently.
Advice: While appreciating Sophie’s self-reliance, gradually introduce her to the concept of mutual dependence and shared responsibilities.
11. Prefer casual to serious relationships
Casual relationships likely provide them with the distance and independence they feel comfortable with, based on past experiences.
Case Study: Andy experienced pain and loss in a past serious relationship.
Now, he prefers to keep things casual to avoid potential emotional pain.
Advice: Let the relationship with Andy progress at his pace, slowly showing him that a serious relationship can provide deep emotional satisfaction without the threat of pain.
12. Steer clear of vulnerability
They might associate vulnerability with weakness or have had their vulnerabilities used against them in the past.
Case Study: Emma was bullied as a child when she showed her vulnerabilities.
As an adult, she hides her vulnerabilities to avoid feeling exposed or hurt.
Advice: Show Emma that vulnerability is a strength and a pathway to deeper connections.
Be patient and understanding when she does open up.
13. Struggles with receiving care from others
Receiving care might be associated with obligation or loss of control, based on their past experiences.
Case Study: Brian had parents who used their care as a means of control.
Now, he struggles to accept care from others, equating it with losing his independence.
Advice: Offer care to Brian in a non-controlling way, reassuring him that it’s okay to accept help from others.
14. Tends to be highly self-critical
High self-criticism often stems from a history of being held to unrealistic standards or experiencing frequent criticism.
Case Study: Olivia had a parent who expected perfection, causing her to develop a self-critical attitude.
She often criticizes herself harshly for mistakes.
Advice: Help Olivia understand that it’s okay to make mistakes and that perfection isn’t a realistic or healthy expectation.
15. Uncomfortable with dependence
They might equate dependence with weakness or loss of control due to past experiences.
Case Study: Tom had to be self-reliant from a young age due to negligent caregivers.
Now, he is uncomfortable depending on others, viewing it as a potential threat to his control and independence.
Advice: Show Tom that dependence in a relationship is a sign of mutual support rather than a loss of control or autonomy.
Loving an avoidant partner can be challenging, but it’s also very rewarding. With patience, understanding, and support, you can build a strong and lasting relationship with your avoidant partner.
1. How to Check an Avoidant Actually Loves You?
When it comes to love, an avoidant expresses it differently than others.
Their love isn’t usually shown through overt displays of affection but through subtle signs.
It can be easy to misconstrue their need for independence as indifference, but it’s essential to understand their unique ways of showing love. It’s about reading between the lines.
- Look for signs of trust: While it may take time for them to open up, they will eventually let you in on their thoughts and feelings.
- Actions speak louder: They might show their love through actions rather than words. It can be in small ways, like remembering your favorite food or taking care of something for you.
- They value your presence: Even if they enjoy their solitude, they appreciate having you around and include you in various aspects of their life.
- They seek your opinion: Even though they are self-reliant, they respect your viewpoints and often seek your advice on matters.
2. How to Make an Avoidant Fall in Love with You?
Capturing the heart of an avoidant can be an exciting journey.
Their self-reliant and independent nature doesn’t mean they are immune to love; it just means the approach should be different.
The key lies in understanding, patience, and the consistent demonstration of your love and care.
- Give them space: Respect their need for independence and personal space. This shows them that you understand their nature and are willing to accommodate it.
- Show consistent behavior: Your consistent and predictable behavior can make them feel safe and secure, leading them to open up gradually.
- Be patient: Avoidant partners take time to open up and trust. Your patience can help them understand that you’re in it for the long haul.
- Foster a safe environment: By creating a non-judgmental and empathetic environment, you can make them comfortable enough to show their vulnerable side.
3. How to Love an Avoidant?
Loving an avoidant is a rewarding experience if you can understand their unique needs.
It’s about accepting their need for space and independence, being patient, and allowing the relationship to grow at its own pace.
- Respect their need for independence: Let them maintain their separate identity. This will make them feel understood and respected.
- Practice patience: Avoidant individuals take longer to open up. Patience will show them that you’re willing to wait.
- Foster open communication: Encourage open and honest communication about each other’s needs and expectations. This helps in building trust and understanding.
- Accept them: Embrace their avoidant nature as part of who they are. Your acceptance can help them feel comfortable and loved.
- Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. (1991). Attachment styles among young adults: A test of a four-category model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61(2), 226-244.
- Brennan, K. A., Clark, C. L., & Shaver, P. R. (1998). Self-report of attachment styles: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 122(1), 81-114.
- Fraley, R. C., Waller, G., & Brennan, K. A. (2000). An item response theory analysis of self-report attachment measures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(1), 35-45.
- Hazan, C., & Shaver, P. R. (1987). Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52(3), 511-524.
- Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2003). The nature and function of attachment styles. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 139-165.
Navigating a relationship with an avoidant nature lover can offer many unique benefits.
Their independence, self-reliance, and strength often translate into a relationship dynamic that respects individuality and personal space.
This can lead to a healthy balance between ‘me’ time and ‘us’ time, something that other relationship styles might struggle to achieve.
The personal growth that comes from their critical introspection can also encourage a deep sense of self-understanding and mutual growth in the relationship.
At times, it may feel as though you’re navigating a maze. But remember, every person and every relationship has its intricacies, and an avoidant nature lover is no different.
The key is to understand and respect these differences, communicate openly, and let the relationship evolve at its own pace.
Loving an avoidant nature lover is like embarking on a unique journey of love that values both togetherness and individuality.
It can be challenging at times but equally rewarding if approached with patience, understanding, and respect for their needs.
We would love to hear from you. Do you have an avoidant nature lover in your life? How has your experience been? Please share your stories with us in the comment section below.